Burglary / Robbery

The Best Orange County Burglary Attorney

The act of burglary can be described as illegally entering a locked commercial building, residence, vehicle, or vessel while intending to steal or take property that belongs to someone else. Burglary can be charged as a felony, and can leave the convicted individual facing imprisonment along with a permanent criminal record. A residential burglary is a “Strike” in California.

Marley Law is committed to protecting clients accused of burglary from a conviction as well as the criminal penalties that will result if found guilty. We understand that being arrested or charged with burglary, has the potential to ruin lives. To secure the best chance for yourself, it is imperative you obtain the services of a lawyer who is skilled, experienced, and dedicated to giving your case the intense focus you deserve.

Attorney Michael Marley of Marley Law Firm, A.P.C. is dedicated to getting you the results you need. Marley is known for the aggressive, zealous representation of his clients at every stage of the case. For a free consultation, simply fill out a form on our Contact Page or call us at (949) 726-6000.

The Two Types of Burglary

First-degree burglary (or residential burglary) – involves the entering of an inhabited dwelling house, trailer, attached garage, vessel (as defined in the Harbors and Navigation Code, which is inhabited and designed for habitation), floating home (as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code), trailer coach (as defined by the Vehicle Code), or the inhabited portion of any other building.  To be charged with first-degree burglary, the theft of property does not have to be committed. Prosecutors only have to prove that an individual unlawfully entered the structure with the intent to commit theft.  Again, it is important to note that first-degree burglary is a “strike” in California.

Second-degree burglary (or commercial burglary) – involves entering a business or automobile with the intent to commit theft. While generally charged as misdemeanor crimes, depending on the sophistication involved, second-degree burglary can also be charged as a felony.

Potential Punishments Involving Burglary

The severity of punishment varies from case to case, by taking into consideration an individual’s criminal record, and the type of burglary. Some punishments are as follows:

  • First-degree or Residential Burglary – Probation Sentence: Probation is period of supervision with specific terms of probation that the defendant must obey, in lieu of a prison sentence being imposed at that time.  An individual will be required to check-in with a probation officer while on formal probation.  Prison Sentence:  If an individual is not able to obtain a probation offer or does not complete the probation terms of their plea agreement, they can be sentenced to prison for two, four, or six years, fines of up to $10,000, or both. The percentage of incarcerated time that an individual serves will be based upon whether they have a prior strike alleged, and whether the current offense is alleged as serious or violent.
  • Second-degree or Commercial Burglary – Probation Sentence: As stated above, probation is period of supervision with specific terms of probation that the defendant must obey, in lieu of a sentence being imposed at that time.  Misdemeanor probation sentences are usually informal, which means that you are not required to check-in with a probation officer.  If convicted of misdemeanor commercial burglary, sentencing includes a maximum of one year in county jail, fines of up to $1,000, or both.  Sentencing for felony commercial burglary includes prison time of 16 months, two or three years, fines of up to $10,000, or both.  

Defense Strategies That Can Help

  • A person can only be convicted of burglary if the prosecutor can prove intent to steal.
  • If your attorney can prove that at some point in the past you had a legitimate reason to be on the property/premises, any fingerprints or DNA found at the scene of the alleged crime may be attributed to a previous visit.
  • With a strong alibi, mistaken identity may be a viable defense. Residential or commercial surveillance videos are effective in supporting that you were not at the location when the alleged crime/incident took place. 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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